The Jester Plays Dead
Selenas Mountain is pleased to present "The Jester Plays Dead," featuring works by Dan Rizzo-Orr, Edward Salas, and Seneca Weintraut. This exhibition pulls together three artists whose practices weave through shape, figurative abstraction, and gallows humour. These distinct voices explore an amalgam of archetypes through visual story-telling and material compositions. The host of characters in this work blend into an overarching motif of the jester and the idea of the painting as a riddle. Rehearsed as a backwards journey, the mental gymnastics of the comedic alchemist transforms tragedy into entertainment and sadness into laughter.
Dan Rizzo-Orr’s latest body of work utilizes kites as a picture plane and a conceptual jumping off point for abstract compositions. Filled with multiple haunting eyes, Rizzo-Orr’s collaged works resemble a school of asymmetrical snake-like creatures bound by the edges of the canvas. In Edward Salas’ colorful paintings, clowns and cowboys meld into convalescent characters with a phantasmagoric spectral presence. His work employs conventions of religious iconography infused with visual narratives pulled from Latin American folklore. Working with encaustic wax on birch panel, Seneca Weintraut will exhibit new works presenting characters that resemble a traveling hobo troubadour or grizzly man. In his studio process, the artist imagines a non-linear timeline, negating the Western ideology of a one directional arrow of time.
About the artists:
Dan Rizzo-Orr (b. 1989) is a Chicago-based artist. He was born in Phoenix, AZ and holds a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His recent exhibitions include 4th Ward Project Space (Chicago), Bar 4000 (Chicago), Andrew Rafacz Gallery (Chicago), LVL 3 (Chicago), and H.G. Inn (Chicago).
Edward Salas received a BFA from State University at New Paltz in 2013. He is currently an MFA candidate in Painting at Alfred University. He has shown in various group shows in the United States and internationally including ‘This Country’ at Weselyan University, ‘Neither Here Nor There’ at the Manny Cantor Center, ‘El Museo Extemporáneo de Arte Popular’ at BWSMX in Mexico City, ‘Esurient Eyes’ at Regina Rex Gallery and ‘American Fine Arts’ a traveling exhibition organized by BBQLA. Edward Salas was in residence at the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning in 2016.
Seneca Weintraut is a Hoosier living and working in Philadelphia. Weintraut received his MFA in painting from Tyler School of Art, Temple University in 2015 and is currently a member of the artist-run gallery Fjord. In years past, Weintraut counted money on a riverboat casino, cut grass in an oil refinery, and built mausoleums in several prominent cemeteries. Nowadays, Weintraut maintains a studio at The Loom in Philadelphia where his paintings and simple woodcarvings explore the delusional ontology of Wood Grain Theory, searches for non-linear timelines, and continues to ask: “What is Diamondhead?” Weintraut attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in the summer of 2013. He has shown his work in New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago and was featured in New American Paintings #113.